Friday, July 3, 2009

Hooray For The Red, White, And Blue

Celebrate America's greatness by trying some of the following ideas this 4th of July:

*Have a backyard barbecue and invite over your neighbors or extended family.

*Have a blast at your picnic by putting out table crackers, which look like giant firecrackers, but are actually tubes filled with treats. Save cardboard from paper towel rolls, and cover the tubes with red tissue paper. Before sealing both ends, fill with such things as printed out patriotic sayings, small red, white, and blue toys, foil-wrapped candies, or other treats (use your imagination). Seal ends, adding a piece of gold starred and glittered wire garland on top for fuse.

*Layer pre-made blueberry Jell-O, Cool Whip Topping, and strawberry or cherry Jell-O in clear Solo cups. Top with a dollop of Cool Whip. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

*Put a patriotic spin on party games. For example, pin the name of an American icon on the back of each guest's shirt. Choose important people, places, symbols…even quotes found throughout our country's early history. For example…Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Francis Scott Key, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Philadelphia, Boston, the Old North Church, Constitution Hall, the American eagle, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, "One if by land and two if by sea!", "Give me liberty or give me death!", "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.", etc. Each guest goes around and asks questions of the others, obtaining clues until they guess correctly who, or what, they are. Get creative with your selections and have fun!

*Give small children large pieces of bubble wrap to stomp on. When they stomp…it sounds like firecrackers going off. The kids love it and…just think…no mess, no smell, and no danger!

*Plant red, white, and blue flowers in your flowerbeds and window boxes. Things like petunias, impatiens, salvia, alyssum, and ageratum work well. If you have enough space, and the ambition, plant them to resemble a flag!

*Fly your flag!

*Make Minuteman Ice Cream Sandwiches by spooning ½ cup vanilla ice cream between 2 chocolate wafer cookies. Roll edges in red, white, and blue sprinkles. Freeze until serving.

*Attend parades and local firework displays in your area.

*Make an American Berry No Bake Cheesecake. (Prep time 15 minutes plus refrigerating.)

2 packages (8 oz. Each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/3-cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping thawed, divided
1 graham cracker piecrust
strawberry halves and blueberries

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Spread Cool Whip on top. Arrange berries in rows to resemble flag.

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